Samsung T249 Review
The interface in use with the Samsung T249 is the same with other similar handsets we've seen from the carrier. Since it's geared for basic users, the interface perfectly lines up with their needs seeing that it's simple and straightforward – and without any hassle or lag. Personalization is pretty much a minimum with the handset, aside from changing the wallpaper or theme, but that's expected out of these kinds of phones. The main menu consists of a rotating carousel of 5 icons which are broken down to People, Messaging, Media, Settings, Organizer, and Call History. Overall, it's rather difficult in getting confused with navigating on the phone since it's pretty much linear.
The handset will be able to accommodate a maximum of 1,000 contacts, which should be more than sufficient for most people – and of course, you'll be able to input a variety of information with each person.
Composing a message, whether it be a plain old text message or an MMS, the procedure is pretty obvious since you'll have to rely on using just the numeric keypad. In any event, you'll resort to doing it the old fashion way or basically enable T9 for a faster method for inputting text. Regardless, it'll get the job done without much hassle. There's no email support with the phone, not surprisingly, but it does come with an instant messenger client – where you'll be able to access AIM, Windows Live Messenger, or Yahoo Messenger.
You can forget about anything else with the handset because there is next to nothing in regards to third party applications. So if you're aching for some social networking action, you'll want to look elsewhere since this lacks anything in regards to it. As for the few remaining apps on the phone, the only thing you'll be greeted to are a few demo games – Tetris, Texas Holdem, and Midnight Pool 2.
Easily finding itself at the below average offering with its 1.3-megapixel camera, you really can't expect too much out of it. In fact, there isn't anything pretty with the images it is able to produce. As a whole, colors look extremely dull and lacks any vibrancy, while the soft looking images don't produce any stunning visuals. Indoors, there isn't any respite since the execution is basically unchanged. Additionally, you'll need to really have a steady hand the entire time you're attempting to shoot something – that unless you want blurry looking images.
Video quality doesn't get any better because the maximum shooting resolution is 176 x 144 pixels – which is needless to say just utterly horrific in itself. Regardless, the videos it's able to produce look pixelated beyond belief – almost as if you're trying to watch someone on a webcam through a 56k modem. Granted it offers the convenience of one, especially being a basic phone, it doesn't necessarily add anything worthwhile to it.
Running the music player, you're not going to be blown away with its typical presentation – which is fitting obviously with this handset. In addition to being extremely functional, as it displays the artist, track title, and on-screen controls, we were pleasantly surprised with the quality emitted by its speaker. It didn't crackle one bit at the highest volume setting, which is great, but we were still happy with the tone of audio it's able to produce – which is still audible to the ear.
Limited by its low-res display, you really can't find it conducive to watching videos. And the case is so because we were unable to load any of our test videos – meaning, you'll need to convert videos to a low enough resolution for the phone to accept. Naturally, you'll want to have an idea of what you're watching in the video, but with the Samsung T249, you might not even find them recognizable.
With a surprisingly healthy 100MB of internal storage, it should be enough for some individuals. But if it still doesn't seem to be sufficient, you can supplement it with microSD cards up to 16GB in capacity.
Bringing along the phone overseas for voice phone calls won't be an issue since it is a quad-band (850/900/18000/1900 MHz) GSM handset. However, you won't want to carry it along for the ride for data use since it's only limited to EDGE speeds.
Similar to watching videos, the web browsing experience is almost downright revolting since it crawls in just loading up pages. In addition, the display doesn't make it any better since you'll be required to do plenty of horizontal scrolling – that's unless you set it to mobile view; which automatically fits everything to the length of the display. Unfortunately, the handset doesn't like complex web sites like ours since it was unable to completely load it – so it's best to stick with mobile friendly sites.